Social identity is one's sense of self as a member of a social group (or groups). Sociologists use the concept of social identity to explain how people understand who they are and why they do what they do. According to social identity theory, people classify themselves and others as belonging to specific groups. People regard groups more like themselves more positively, identifying themselves as members of such groups in contrast to others. For example, preferring certain values, one might identify oneself as a conservative as opposed to a liberal. Some sociologists believe social identity can explain extreme behavior. A gang member, for example, might kill someone because the gang member identifies himself or herself as a member of a specific gang as opposed to another.
Symbolic Interactionism is often times related and connected with social structure.
This concept suggests that Symbolic Interactionism is a construction of people’s social reality. It also implies that from a realistic point of view, the interpretations that are being made will not make much difference. When the reality of a situation is defined, the situation becomes a meaningful reality.
Cooley suitably called the me as side of how our self
Another premise of Symbolic Interaction theory is the pygmalion effect. In Symbolic Interaction theory, Mead establishes the notion of the "looking-glass" self. This idea is that an individual will behave and act according to the view that society and others have for them. The pygmalion effect also leads into the idea of the self-fulfilling prophecy.
Durkheim distinguished two forms of structural relationship: mechanical solidarity and organic solidarity. The former describes structures that unite similar parts through a shared culture; the latter describes differentiated parts united through social exchange and material interdependence.